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What Is Darbepoetin Alfa Used For?

How Does Darbepoetin Alfa Work?

It belongs to a group of medications known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Darbepoetin alfa is a man-made version of erythropoietin, a human protein that is produced in the kidneys. Darbepoetin alfa works by stimulating the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow. It is very similar to epoetin alfa (Epogen®, Procrit®), with a few minor changes to the molecule. These changes make darbepoetin alfa long-acting. Darbepoetin alfa is taken once weekly (or every two or three weeks), while epoetin alfa must be taken more frequently (usually three times a week).

Darbepoetin Alfa Uses in Children

Darbepoetin alfa is approved to treat anemia related to chronic kidney failure in children as young as one year of age. It is not approved to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using darbepoetin alfa in children.

Off-Label Darbepoetin Alfa Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend darbepoetin alfa for treating something other than anemia caused by chronic kidney failure or by chemotherapy. At this time, there are no universally accepted darbepoetin alfa off-label uses.
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Drug Information -- Darbepoetin Alfa

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